CALERA, Okla. (KXII) -- Some local member of the Oklahoma National guard are set to ship out in service of their country. They'll join nearly 200,000 troops fighting in over 150 countries around the world. One local school threw a mini parade for the soldiers before they deploy, a sendoff the soldiers won't forget.
Calera ISD students hold up signs that read 'Thank you for our freedom' and 'Go Soldiers, Go Americans.'
Students made these signs to show support for a dozen parents of Calera students who are about to deploy overseas with the Oklahoma Army National Guard's 1st Squadron, 180th Calvary Regiment for Operation Freedom's Sentinel.
"We want to show them that we do support what they're doing and all of our troops and that we know that their sacrifice is great and we want to show them we recognize that," said Calera ISD teachers Kristi Robinson and Sunny Thralls.
Calera teachers organized a mini sendoff for the soldiers outside of their school.
"We want to teach the students to be patriotic and to show love and concern and care for their country," said the teachers.
"Loved seeing the kids out there and shouting USA and stuff like that," said soldier Jessy Hardee.
"We really appreciate the community coming together and getting behind us," said soldier Samuel Blackburn.
Blackburn and Hardee are both in the Army. Both will be stationed in Afghanistan. This is Hardee's first deployment, but this will be Blackburn's fourth. Both tell us it won't be easy leaving their family behind.
"It's gonna be just like anything overseas," said Blackburn. "Terrorist activities, shooters, kidnappings, all of that."
"I'm glad to be able to stand here and say that I have a husband that's willing to fight for our country and our freedom and it's a blessing," said Hardee's wife, Misty.
We asked their kids what they will say to their dads before they leave.
"I hope he stays safe," said Hardee's son, Noah.
"I love you," said Hardee's daughter, Hannah.
"We're gonna miss him and pray for him," said Blackburn's son, Noah.
"It's not goodbye forever," said Blackburn. "Just goodbye for now."
The soldiers we spoke with said they will be gone from their families close to a year.